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Families rally to save Quality Life Center


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Families rally to save Quality Life Center

By Katie Jones. CREATED Mar 10, 2014

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- A staple that has served as a safe haven for more than two decades in Southwest Florida community is on the verge of shutting its doors.

Since 1990, the Quality Life Center has been providing after school programs and child care.

Last month, NBA legend Magic Johnson visited the center that is now facing foreclosure.

"It is a sense of community, it is a place where you can learn pride and self discipline, self control," Quality of Life Center's PR Representative Shari Armstrong said.

Shari Armstrong grew up learning and sharing the Quality Life Center's mission.

The mission it to empower youth and encourage them to chase dreams.

"These kids need to know that it is still cool to get an education, it's still cool to spend time mastering things that you love like martial arts, dance, music," said Armstrong.

"It is important for us to reinforce in our kids that it is ok to do something positive with your life," Armstrong added.

Success stories like Shari's are what the center's founder and executive director Abdul'Haq Muhammed said has kept them going for so long.

"There are people who have moved on to higher education, pursued occupation and are doing very well," Muhammed said.

With success comes struggle.

After nearly 25 years, the Quality Life Center is in a major financial crisis and on the verge of foreclosure.

Last month, NBA All star Magic Johnson donated $100,000 to the Quality Life Center but it still isn't enough.

Kids, parents and employees are now taking their fight to the streets.

Every night, they raise signs and voices raising money.

They said every last penny counts. 

The center's executive director said he hopes they can negotiate and reach an agreement with the bank and said, now, the faith in the center is stronger than ever.

"I Believe in the good of human beings and I believe that people understand the value of what we are trying to do so we're confident," Muhammed said.

The center became nationally famous a few years back when Fort Myers resident Vonzelle Solomon became a finalist on American Idol.

Her involvement with the center raised its profile. 

The center will be hosting a fundraiser and celebration Friday.

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Katie Jones

Katie Jones

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Katie Jones is a reporter for FOX 4 news.